Scott Derickson, director of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, has shared a comic book panel that may well hint at his film's plot. Marvel Studios has been developing the idea of the Multiverse for a long time, first hinting at it in the Thor films, and then bringing the concept to the forefront in 2016's Doctor Strange. The Multiverse looks to be central to the MCU's Phase 4, with rumors that Loki will travel from one reality to another, and of course the much-anticipated Doctor Strange 2.
At the moment, precious little is known about the plot of Doctor Strange 2. The Masters of the Mystic Arts appear to be facing a threat on a Multiversal scale, and they've lost their greatest weapon, the Time Stone, after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Meanwhile, Marvel has confirmed that Elizabeth Olsen will be appearing, either as a hero or perhaps even as a villain. Now, director Scott Derickson - who's always been a fan of the comics - has dropped a hint.
Derickson has taken to Twitter to share a single panel about the Multiverse, lifted straight from Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #21. The comic included a special feature that explained just what Marvel Comics means by the Multiverse and also revealed the history of Doctor Strange's greatest nemesis, the Dread Dormammu.
While most fans are focused on the idea of alternate timelines, in the comics the Multiverse embraces something far greater. In order to explain its concept of the Multiverse, Doctor Strange #21 envisioned Earth as at the center of an infinite sea. Alternate Earths are just one swim-stroke removed from the center; the further away you go, the more the laws of nature change, and there are even pocket universes such as Mephisto's Hell or Odin's Asgard. The Dark Dimension is one of the more distant, and inimical to conventional life, with far more spatial dimensions than our standard universe. Light itself becomes a variable phenomenon there, subject to local conditions, and the fabric of space is described as almost porous. This leads to an abundance of wormholes to other parts of the Multiverse.
Doctor Strange implicitly pointed to this broader model of the Multiverse, with the Ancient One sending Doctor Strange's spirit on a so-called "Magical Mystery Tour" across other dimensions. As the film progressed, it revealed that the Ancient One stands as the guardian of our plane of reality, defending it against invasion from the Multiverse. Unfortunately Doctor Strange ended with the Ancient One's death, and Wong cautioned that news of her passing would spread throughout the entire Multiverse.
It's surely no coincidence that director Scott Derickson, a comic book fan, is pointing to an explanation of the Multiverse that tallies perfectly with the MCU's; it's reasonable to assume this indicates something about his plot. Presumably Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will explore the repercussions of the Ancient One's passing and the Time Stone's destruction, with a Multiversal threat - possibly the much-teased Nightmare, or perhaps even a returning Dormammu - choosing to launch an attack.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022